To weave and swerve through traffic on a two-wheeler is a feeling like no other. It’s adrenaline-inducing and challenging, although not peril-free. That is why tech companies are putting their resources into making motorcycling safer. We’ve seen several solutions so far, from the Jarvish X-AR to the Argon Transform add-on, but at CES 2019 we stumbled upon what might be the best smart helmet yet.
Tucked into a booth in Eureka Park, a cross between a motorcross helmet and an on-road one awaited. Black, with a rounded visor and a chin protector that juts outward, putting some distance between the face and the helmet, the CrossHelmet X1 is gorgeous.
Arata Ono, CEO of Borderless. Inc, used his background in design at YAMAHA to devise the CrossHelmet X1. Before we go into specs and software, there are a couple extra features that make this design unique.
Ono and his team added a touchpad and LED lights on the sides. What is the purpose of the touchpad? It can be used to activate different music controls.
Yes, the AR helmet can be used to listen to music, by enabling Bluetooth and pairing it with your smartphone. Thanks to this type of connectivity, it can also be used to take phone calls and check battery levels, safety lights, and access maps via the companion app.
The large visor employs a 30% wider field of view than the traditional helmet one. More importantly, it comes with the tech that gives this helmet its smarts: an HUD.
Positioned like a rear view mirror, it’s not as distracting as you might think, explains Arata Ono. The rider can look up to see directions, weather reports, time and trip data. Better yet, they can watch the road behind, thanks to a wide angle rear camera streaming content to the HUD. Ono wants to ensure the safety of the rider by offering this 360-degree vision.
Unlike Argon Transform, this helmet offers noise cancellation thanks to a patented system called CrossSound Control. “It uses a system of algorithms to filter out sound distractions such as road, engine and wind noise, while maintaining the acoustic signals necessary for the rider’s safety”, the company says.
X1 surpasses Jarvis X-AR in terms of battery life. You can count on six hours of life when it comes to CrossHelmet, recharging it afterwards via USB Type-C.
When can we expect CrossHelmet X1 to hit the market? This year, probably somewhere in March-April, promised Ono. At that point, the AR helmet will ship with voice control, too. The retail price will be $1,799 but you can place a pre-order for a reduced price here.
It’s not cheap, but certainly worth it if you never leave your house without your bike.